United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
NATURE OF MOTION AND RELIEF SOUGHT
the Court is RSDC Holdings, LLC (“RSDC”)
“Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings” (Rec. Doc.
20) and M.G. Mayer Yacht Services, Inc.'s (“M.G.
Mayer”) “Memorandum in Opposition to Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings” (Rec. Doc. 21).
foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that RSDC's
“Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings” is DENIED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
member Donald Calloway obtained a vessel, the Tuna Taxi, as
part of an extra-judicial foreclosure in Laguna Beach,
California. (Rec. Doc. 1). In order to transport the vessel
from the West Coast to Louisiana, the Tuna Taxi's bridge,
or the platform containing navigation equipment, was removed.
(Rec. Doc. 1). After the vessel's arrival in Louisiana,
Mr. Calloway and his business associate, Richard Sanderson,
brought the Tuna Taxi to M.G, Mayer to have the bridge
reassembled. (Rec. Doc. 1-1). The bridge reassembly was
billed to Mr. Sanderson on June 16, 2013. (Rec. Doc. 1-2).
The vessel was later released to Mr. Calloway. (Rec. Doc. 1).
Invoices show other repairs were billed to Mr. Sanderson
between December 2, 2012 and March 10, 2013. (Rec. Doc. 16).
Mayer filed two liens with the U.S. Coast Guard National
Vessel Documentation Center alleging outstanding payment for
repairs on the Tuna Taxi. (Rec. Doc. 1). RSDC filed the
Complaint seeking judgment that the Tuna Taxi is not subject
to two liens filed by M.G. Mayer. (Rec. Doc. 1). M.G. Mayer
then filed its Amended Answer and Counterclaim alleging that
it had entered into a contract with RSDC for repairs on the
Tuna Taxi and it rightfully asserted liens from that work.
(Rec. Doc. 16).
FACTUAL AND LEGAL FINDINGS
12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a party
to move for judgment on the pleadings after the pleadings are
closed but early enough so as not to delay trial. The
standard for deciding a motion for judgment on the pleadings
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) is the same as
that for a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). In re
Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation, 495 F.3d 191, 205
(5th Cir. 2007). Accordingly, this Court must accept all
well-pleaded facts as true and view them in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. See Baker v.
Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996). “To
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
is facially plausible “when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
“Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).” Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted). However,
“[a] pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555).
instant matter is not appropriate for judgment on the
pleadings. First of all, M.G. Mayer timely filed an Amended
Answer and Counterclaim which creates a factual dispute with
RSDC's complaint, such as Mr. Sanderson's authority
to procure repairs (Rec. Doc. 16). In addition, judgment on
the pleadings is inappropriate because “a plaintiff is
not entitled to judgment on the pleadings when the answer
raises issues of fact that, if proved, would defeat
recovery.” General Conference Corp. of Seventh-Day
Adventists v. Seventh-Day Adventist Congregational
Church, 887 F.2d 228, 230 (9th Cir. 1989). In its answer
M.G. Mayer asserts several affirmative defenses that would
defeat recovery if proven (Rec. Doc. 16). For example, M.G.
Mayer asserts the affirmative defense of breach of contract
(Rec. Doc. 16). It contends that RSDC entered into an
agreement to preform repair services to the Tuna Taxi and
that after M.G. Mayer preformed such services RSDC failed to
pay them (Rec. Doc. 16). This affirmative defense is
sufficient for the Defendant to survive a Rule 12 (c) motion.
Furthermore, Rule 12(c) is “is designed to dispose of
cases where the material facts are not in dispute and ...